The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to begin on Thursday when host nation Brazil takes on Croatia in group play. The soccer matches will take place in 12 different cities, with the Final commencing on July 13 at the famed Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
“The beautiful game” is easily the most watched sport in the world. At least 1 billion viewers watched the 2010 World Cup Final. The game is also growing in popularity in the U.S. and is expected to draw more attention in 2014 than ever before.
The one-month tournament is probably the closest thing to college basketball’s March Madness. Both college basketball games and soccer games tend to last two full hours when you factor in all the stopping and starting of action, and the two tournaments often have gut-wrenching upsets and highly memorable moments.
Many who otherwise don’t pay much attention to soccer begin to focus on it when the World Cup rolls around. Following the world’s most popular sports tournament is also a great way to pass time in the work week, as the matches will often take place in the early afternoon.
With that in mind, IBTimes has put together an office pool complete with a point system and a printable bracket. But be advised that World Cup Fever can sometimes lead to a decline in productivity.
First Round: 48 games (1 point for each correct answer)
Round of 16: 8 games (3 points for each correct answer)
Quarterfinals: 4 games (8 points for each correct answer)
Semifinals: 2 games (15 points for each correct answer)
Third Place: 1 game (5 points for the correct answer)
Final: 1 game (30 points for the correct answer)
Tiebreaker: 1 point for the correct final score of the Final